Government Contracts

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Winners of some of the largest Hurricane Katrina contracts defended their government deals during a hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

They told skeptical lawmakers the costs are justified.

An executive with Carnival Cruise Lines defended a controversial $236 million deal to provide temporary housing for six months using three full-service cruise ships. Terry Thornton said Carnival displaced more than 120,000 paying passengers in the process, and that Carnival will break even, if not lose money.

Executives from four major government contractors addressed a House panel that is investigating the government's sluggish preparations and reaction to the storm.

They were joined by government contracting officers and auditors who announced they'd found preliminary signs of waste in at least one $39 million contract to provide portable classrooms in Mississippi.

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